Planning approval for new £50 million interdisciplinary research centre at University of Exeter

The University of Exeter has been granted planning permission for a new research centre, the Living Systems building. The £50 million facility will be dedicated to developing novel strategies to address the great challenges facing humanity: food security, lifelong health and a sustainable environment.

Living Systems represents a groundbreaking interdisciplinary venture, bringing together world leading research in biosciences, engineering, mathematics, medicine and physical sciences alongside new undergraduate provision in natural sciences to train the scientists of tomorrow.

The architect designed building will have space for up to 200 scientists and technicians, ranging from postgraduate students to professors. Its state-of-the-art working spaces will include large open-plan flexible laboratory spaces, research offices, dedicated engineering space, laser labs and high-end computational facilities.

Professor Nick Talbot, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Transfer said: “The Living Systems building has the potential to revolutionise the way that science addresses current global challenges. The building has been specifically designed to ensure that researchers from very different scientific disciplines work together in a completely new, interdisciplinary way and also demonstrates our confidence in the recent investments in science, engineering and medicine that have been made by the University.”

The Living Systems building is to be constructed on the University’s Streatham Campus, with work set to commence in summer 2013. The building will open in March 2016. It will be located on North Park Road and will act as a hub, connecting the existing Geoffrey Pope biosciences and Physics buildings.

The Living Systems building will take account of best practice for sustainable laboratory design and construction in order to meet the University’s sustainability and carbon reduction policies and has a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ target for the building’s environmental assessment.

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